drag·​on·​fly | \ˈdra-gən-ˌflī \

Definition of dragonfly 

: any of a suborder (Anisoptera) of odonate insects that are larger and stouter than damselflies, hold the wings horizontal in repose, and have rectal gills during the naiad stage broadly : odonate

Illustration of dragonfly

Illustration of dragonfly

Examples of dragonfly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Dragonfly larvae feed on mosquito larvae and adult dragonflies feed on adult mosquitoes while Mermithids are a parasitic to mosquitoes. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County breeds carnivorous plants, mosquito assassins to limit mosquito population," 7 July 2018 During my visit, dozens of dragonflies buzzed through the air around the summit. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A Hike To Lions Head And A View That Will Make You Roar In Delight," 24 June 2018 Deer Pond, located at the southern end of the preserve, is very scenic with lilies floating in the water and dragonflies daintily hanging on grass along the banks. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "10 Miles Of Trails Open 7 Days A Week, 52 Weeks A Year. Sherman's Deer Pond Farm Makes Its Debut," 13 July 2018 Scientists captured more than 40 dragonflies in the wild and placed dots on their wings to record their movements. Victoria Davis, Science | AAAS, "This video reveals the secret to the dragonfly’s backward flight," 2 July 2018 A year later, plants such as woolgrass bulrush, brome hummock sedge, giant bur-reed, marsh marigold, queen-of-the-prairie and spike gayfeather are attracting dragonflies and monarch butterflies. Patrick M. O'connell, chicagotribune.com, "A 'wild mile' on the Chicago River? It might be closer than you think," 22 June 2018 Right now, scientists have only gone as far as getting the dragonfly to fly in a straight line. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "This Genetically-Modified Cyborg Dragonfly Is the Tiniest Drone," 1 June 2017 Chiffchaffs and willow warblers sing in the sallow and alder, while every leaf seems to hold a butterfly or dragonfly or hoverfly. The Economist, "Brexit is reverberating in British literature," 5 July 2018 The bees and butterflies and dragonflies and bluebirds that make a prairie ecosystem return with a vengeance. Heidi Stevens, chicagotribune.com, "Journalists, readers can't allow the Capital Gazette killings to darken our light," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dragonfly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dragonfly

1626, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dragonfly

Statistics for dragonfly

Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dragonfly

The first known use of dragonfly was in 1626

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dragonfly



English Language Learners Definition of dragonfly

: a large insect that has a long thin body and four wings and that is often seen near water


drag·​on·​fly | \ˈdra-gən-ˌflī \
plural dragonflies

Kids Definition of dragonfly

: a large insect with a long slender body and four wings

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dragonfly

What made you want to look up dragonfly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!